Replacing Optical Drive with SSD

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Rudy.Bocc, May 17, 2011.

  1. Rudy.Bocc, May 17, 2011
    Last edited: May 17, 2011

    Rudy.Bocc macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2011

    I'm considering buying a new 13' MBP. Following the process outlined here I'd replace the optical drive with a ssd:

    Basically, I wanted to take advantage of the SSD for bootup and apps, by installing a 40GB Intel X25 . The cost of both the SSD and the casing I would have to put it in to replace the optical drive would come out to a little over 200. I would obviously use the HDD for storing all my files.

    What I'm asking is if:

    a) you guys think this is a good idea.
    b)if I were to do this would 40GB be too small for the OS and programs
    c) would the warranty/ appcare be voided?
    edit: d) Am I better off just spending $225 on apple's ssd and keeping my optical drive
  2. afrye707 macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2009
    Do it at your own risk

    You are most likely looking at the OWC data doubler which is an awsome idea. So hard drive space is a big deal for me I went with a bigger ssd (I have cs5 master and final cut pro). So I went big to hold all applications and the current work flow that I am working on. Then I transfer to the 500gb internal. So it's up to you and your wallet. Your AppleCare will be void if you open your computer just don't mess anything up and if you ever send it back remember to put it back. I have been upgrading apple computers for years and I have never had an issue with sending it back to apple. Then again I have never broken something while opening it up. It's your money and you take the risk if you think you can do it then do it and good big. You don't want to buy another ssd in a couple of years.
  3. macbwizard macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2005
    I, too, am curious about the AppleCare question. I imagine that it does void your AppleCare warranty but i'm not sure.

    As to the second question, having simply one drive does have advantages. Basically you trade the capacity of the two drive setup for the speed and battery advantages (not to mention the lack of warranty issues) of a single ssd and optical drive. It really depends on how much stuff you want to keep on your laptop I'd say and how much you use the optical drive.
  4. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    also went optibay on my mpb and never looked back

    1) its worth it but go bigger than 40GB if you need some heavy duty apps installed.
    2) opening the mbp for RAM replacement is covered under warranty. so, as long you put everything back to original before sending it in, you might get away with it. no guarantee though whether apple repair will look at the state of the screws and deduce you dirty secret from that.
  5. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2005
    I am 99.999% sure that I have read on these forums that your warranty is NOT voided when you do an upgrade like this.... AS LONG as you don't damage anything else as a result of performing the upgrade.

    If Apple sees the optibay in your Mac, they will most likely claim that it caused whatever problem you are having, and will therefore void your warranty. If you swap your original optical drive back in before any warranty repair you should be fine.
  6. excalibur313, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011

    excalibur313 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    Does anyone have experience with optibay knock offs? $99 seems kind of expensive but they sell them for like $20 on ebay:

    Is this a get what you pay for type thing or would they work? Do real companies besides optibay sell them?

    PS- 40 gb might be enough if you only keep your applications on it. I think it is important not to fill SSDs to the brim. I have a 40gb ssd for a windows 7 machine I have and it works fine. The only thing I'm not sure with macs is how easily you could tell it to set up your user account on a different drive but still make it appear seamless in os x.

    PPS- Definitely do not buy apple's SSDs because you can get a waay better value buy purchasing a drive by OCZ (Vertex 2 or 3) or Intel. I have a 160 gb Intel SSD and absolutely love it (except I filled it :( ) it is really easy to switch out your old drive.
  7. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

    May 9, 2008
    The Iron Throne
    This thread is helpful:

    I wouldn't get the optibay you linked to - it doesn't have the 3 tabs for screws in the same place as the super drive. Personally, I am thinking about going with this one:

    But I may just use the SSD alone for a little while. Once I move all my TV shows to my external, I actually don't use very much space at all.

    Either way, good luck and let us know how it goes.
  8. Rudy.Bocc thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2011
    yea but how about TRIM support? Won't the performance slow down on intels/ ocz? More so if its my only drive?
  9. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    I am running a 128GB Torque SSD drive using an Optibay in the DVD drive. Things I recommend are :

    1. All these drive replacements are a little flimsy in my experience but at least with Optibay you can get a refund if something goes wrong, you also get a (very cheap) case for your removed DVD drive.
    2. If possible place the SSD in your standard HD location and have the standard laptop drive in the DVD location. Sometimes when waking from sleep the HD in the DVD location does not reappear striaght away this is not good if it is your boot drive!
    3. The Optibay will only fit the standard thickness HD's some of the thicker 1TB laptop drives will only fit in the standard HD bay and will not fit in the Optibay location. Make sure you check the thickness of the drives before buying!
    4. The speed boost is unreal especially for lots of small files. I use the 128GB as my boot partition and a 1TB drive for my large data. Boot time is tiny and most apps open in one bounce. Spotlight is also instant.
    5. TRIM is not supported on my Patriot Torque SSD running 10.6.7 on a MacBookPro (MacBookPro5,1)
    6. DVD player will no longer work as you need a DVD installed for it to launch.

    Hope this helps,

  10. strwrsfrk macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2011
    Arlington, VA, USA
    You Won't Regret It (Unless you break something)

    I have an OWC DataDoubler. There is an interface that modifies the standard SATA ports to a smaller form factor for the MBP ports. Since there are some electronics involved, I would go with the OWC to make sure you are getting quality. Many people (myself included when I bought the DD) don't realize that there is an electrical component, not just a metal bracket. So go OWC; you won't regret it.

    OP: Whether 40GB is enough for you really depends on what you want to do with it. It's true you don't want to fill it all up, so my 120GB (formatted to ~115GB) has 95GB worth of stuff on it. This is the OS; Office 2011; iLife 2011; Steam w/ Portal, Portal 2, HL2, HL2E1, HL2E2; Parallels (Win7 is on a mechanical drive); Dreamweaver CS5; Photoshop CS5; and XCode. My documents, music, photos, downloads, etc. and Windows 7 install are all on a separate 1TB HDD. Basically, after all of my productivity applications and a smattering of games, my 120GB is as full as I am comfortable with. My guess is that 40GB will not be enough for you unless you literally just have iLife and Office installed alongside Snow Leopard.

    Adding RAM or mucking around with the HDD or OD will not void your warranty unless you break something. Someone earlier mentioned replacing everything when you need it serviced; this is a good recommendation.

    Do not pay Apple for their SSDs yet (unless you have no other option). Look at Newegg, MacMall, or OWC for the best drives available for your Mac. Personally, stick with SATAII unless the $/GB is comparable for your desired capacity.

    My personal setup has a 120GB SSD for OSX, a 1TB 2.5" HDD for all of my data (200GB partition for Windows 7), and an OEM DVD-RW connected using an IDE-USB bridge. For me, this works like a charm. I cannot recommend highly enough using a data doubler, especially if you spring for a huge HDD (up to 1 TB in 2.5" :) ) for storage.
  11. strwrsfrk macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2011
    Arlington, VA, USA
    Also, a few notes on this post:
    1. Last time I checked, the OWC SuperDrive enclosures DO NOT WORK for superdrives from the April 2010 models and up. They may have resolved this by now, but check before you buy. Otherwise, this is a good suggestion.
    2. Absolutely true. My 120GB OWC SSD replaced my standard 320GB drive, and the HDD went where the optical drive was housed.
    3. I got a 1TB Toshiba 2.5" HDD and it was a tight fit. Definitely do your homework first if you go larger than 750GB on a 2.5" HDD, but the MacBook Pro should fit most of them.
    4. Even on just SATAII, I boot to the desktop from a cold restart in about 13 seconds. R/W speeds are fantastic. Even if you stay SATAII, you won't be disappointed!
    5. Technically, this is correct. TRIM is not natively supported by Appl in Snow Leopard on down. But there is a third-party patch here: that I use and it seems to be working well.
    6. True. Download Perian for QuickTime or VLC.
  12. excalibur313, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011

    excalibur313 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    Thank you to everyone who has responded so far! One more question: Do you find the battery life drops compared to just a SSD? I have a 2010 unibody macbook pro and I'd prefer not to kill my battery too much.

    PS- Thank you so much for the trim support program! This just changed my life. :)

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